Patience has been key for Callum Roberts after first-team call-up
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Patience has been key for Callum Roberts after first-team call-up

The local lad has had to wait for his chance in the first-team, but a fantastic first half of the season for the under 23s has caught Rafa Benitez's attention.

Aaron Hindhaugh

Callum Roberts has seen many players get their chance in the first team while he has had to keep playing in the reserves.

Players like Rolando Aarons, Gael Bigirimana, Sean Longstaff and Adam Armstrong have all been given a chance ahead of Roberts.

However, against Blackburn Rovers, he may get his chance to prove how much he has improved since his debut against Leicester in 2015 when he was just 17 years old.

Roberts has been in fine form in Premier League 2 this season scoring nine goals as well as registering six assists in 12 games.

Well deserved opportunity

There has been the talk of Roberts breaking into the first team for a few seasons so it is a surprise to some fans on Tyneside that it has taken this long for the youngster to get a chance.

However, Newcastle United have been stocked up on wingers for a few seasons now but with injuries and fixture congestion, Roberts may be about to get a chance to prove his worth.

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Roberts is likely to be surrounded by familiar faces from the under 23s with the likes of Longstaff, Jamie Sterry, Freddie Woodman and Nathan Harker all included in the squad.

A chance to shine

Roberts has shown on numerous occasions this season that he is about ready to make the step-up into the first team as he has been involved in 15 goals in only 12 games.

Unlike other promising players coming through Newcastle's under 23s, Roberts has never had a season out on loan.

His most productive loan spell being at Gateshead in the National League when he was only 17 years old.

The South Sheilds born youngster will be hoping he can make an impact on the first team as Longstaff did against Chelsea last weekend.

Roberts ready to take his chance

Ben Dawson, the under 23s coach, believes Roberts deserves this opportunity.

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Dawson spoke to The Chronicle“For Callum, it’s been a while."

"We look back to the Leicester game when he was involved as a 17-year-old."

“He has had to bide his time and he has been with us quite a while."

“Fingers crossed, if he gets on the pitch, then it’s down to him. "

“We all know his ability on the ball, and he has improved his work-rate out of possession, understanding of defensive shape and how to help the team that way."